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Saturday, March 3, 2012

I’m still here’: Tyshawn Taylor’s story marked by adversity

Kansas senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor has overcome his fair share of adversity as a Jayhawk. Taylor is preparing to lead his team against Texas in his final home game at Allen Fieldhouse. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Kansas senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor has overcome his fair share of adversity as a Jayhawk. Taylor is preparing to lead his team against Texas in his final home game at Allen Fieldhouse. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

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Kansas senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor has overcome his fair share of adversity as a Jayhawk. Taylor is preparing to lead his team against Texas in his final home game at Allen Fieldhouse. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Life is good for Tyshawn Taylor at Kansas University — better, he says, than ever before.

It’s a Wednesday in February, and the senior point guard is lounging in a padded chair in an office next to Allen Fieldhouse, talking about how fortunate he feels to have been a part of KU’s program for four years.

There’s certainly plenty to smile about.

Taylor is averaging a team-high 18.4 points in Big 12 play and might be the biggest reason that the Jayhawks, who entered the season with only modest expectations, are 25-5 and in prime position to grab their third No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed in three years.

Earlier this week, KU coach Bill Self acknowledged as much, saying Taylor has meant as much to his program as any player who has stayed all four years.

“Right now, I’m happiest that I’m still here,” Taylor says. “I’ve been through some things, but I’m still here.”

Those who know him say many others in his shoes wouldn’t have made it this far.

Taylor’s story is one about motivation, about how his family life — he spent most of his childhood serving as the man of his household — might have been the best thing for him, because just look where he is now.

Taylor is one of the best point guards in the country, getting ready for his Senior Night, on the verge of making his NBA dream a reality.

His life wasn’t always without its share of speed bumps, much like his KU career and even this season.

But today, as he prepares for his final game at Allen Fieldhouse and a future that is filled with promise, everything finally appears to be falling into place.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tyshawn Taylor knows his father’s name — Tyrone Garner — but when asked how to spell it, he says he’s not sure.

Taylor was born in Hoboken, N.J., in 1990, and his father was a part of his life until his mother, Jeanell, and her children moved to Florida to be closer to Jeanell’s sister.

“I guess it was an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ kind of thing,” Taylor says.

After that, Taylor talked sparingly with his father. The brief times they spoke set him up for disappointment.

The breaking point for Taylor came when he turned 12. His dad called and asked what he wanted for his birthday, and Taylor requested a pair of boots.

Garner promised to send Taylor some Timberlands through the mail.

The package never came. When Garner talked to Taylor again, he told him that he was buying the boots for Christmas and asked which size he needed.

Christmas came and went, and Taylor still never received the gift he was promised.

“I didn’t need it,” Taylor says. “I wanted to see if he was going to do it, and he didn’t.”

At the time, Taylor hated his father for lying to him and vowed never to ask Garner for anything again. He realized he had all he needed with his mother and younger sisters, Taquana and Tatiana.

“My mom and my sister (Taquana) have been holding me down forever,” Taylor says. “My mom’s been my mom and my dad-kind of figure forever in my life. I’m comfortable with that.”

Taylor makes it clear that, because he’s grown up, he doesn’t resent his dad or hate him. But in some ways, he realizes his father helped shape the man he’s become.

“I think (for a lot) of my life, everything that I did was pretty much to tell him, ‘I told you so,’” Taylor says. “Somebody that I didn’t see, didn’t know, I was trying to prove him wrong, like, ‘I don’t need you to be good at something. I don’t need you to be a success.’”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It’s impossible to know where Tyshawn Taylor would be now if Stephanie Crawford hadn’t introduced herself while he was playing basketball on the playground in Clearwater, Fla.

Taylor, 8 at the time, returned home and told his mother that Crawford wanted to meet with her.

Crawford, who has coached boys and men’s basketball since 1987, talked to Jeanell about Taylor playing for her AAU team, Prime Time.

photo

Courtesy photo/Stephanie Crawford

Eleven-year-old Tyshawn Taylor, second from right, is shown with his Prime Time AAU team in this 2001 photo. At right is Prime Time coach Stephanie Crawford.

The women became instant friends.

Crawford, who would load up her eight or nine AAU players in her RV to travel across the area for tournaments, later became Taylor’s godmother.

When Jeanell fell on especially hard times, Crawford offered to take Tyshawn into her home to be a guardian-like figure for him.

That arrangement lasted about a year and a half, and Taylor was able to get love and guidance from both his godmother and his mother, whom he still saw frequently.

“We were like good cop, bad cop,” Crawford says. “I would put the foot down and drop the hatchet. I would love him up, but I’d also kick him in the (butt).”

When Taylor’s report card came back with a few F’s, Crawford sat Taylor out of all basketball activities until he was able to bring his grades up. The coach made him come to practice but forced him to sit and watch his teammates play.

“I just thought he was going to die,” Crawford says. “He thought that I would let up, and I didn’t.”

Taylor’s butterbean eyes and alligator tears made him tough to discipline. He melted Crawford’s heart, but she knew she was doing the right thing.

And 6 1/2 weeks later, Taylor rejoined the team after presenting a report card with A’s and B’s.

“His grades have never been a problem again,” Crawford says.

Crawford — who spent the last three seasons as Hillsborough High’s boys varsity basketball coach in Tampa — said she saw a different drive in Taylor than her other players.

The older he got and the more Crawford demanded of him, the hungrier he became to succeed.

Before Taylor made his way to St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J., for his final three years of high school, Crawford also saw a fun-loving kid with an infectious smile whose personality and self-confidence were developing at a rapid pace.

During one AAU trip to Lakeland, Fla., Crawford took her team to eat at a Hooters restaurant, letting the kids eat at their own table.

A few minutes later, when she turned around, the whole team was gone.

The coach jumped out of her seat to look for her players and quickly found them around a corner.

The team was getting photos taken with the Hooters girls, and Taylor was right in the middle — arms around a couple of them — with a big smile.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Last Valentine’s Day, Jeanell Taylor opened her house door after hearing a knock.

Standing before her was the man in Jeanell’s life, holding a teddy bear, six roses and a white balloon with red hearts on it.

“I love you, Mom,” Taylor said after she opened the door.

Jeanell is still touched nearly a month later.

“He just wants to see a smile on my face,” Jeanell says.

Tyshawn is especially close with his mom knowing all she did for him growing up.

He was there in Florida when she worked long hours — any time from 8 in the morning to 9 at night — to try to provide for her family.

He was also there when his mom struggled. Tyshawn came home one day when the lights had been shut off because there wasn’t enough money to pay the electric bill.

Jeanell still always made time for her oldest child.

“I’ve seen some tough times, but I’ve always seen good times,” Tyshawn says. “My mom, she’s always made it to where we’re comfortable and we’re good.”

And though Jeanell’s admittedly emotional, Tyshawn noticed growing up that his mother always tried her hardest never to cry in front of him.

She knew that if she was in tears, Tyshawn would be sobbing right along with her.

Jeanell was 18 when Tyshawn was born, and she made her children promise her that, if nothing else, they would finish high school and get their degrees.

After four years at KU, Taylor is set to graduate in May, majoring in communication studies with a minor in American studies.

When he does, he’ll become one of the first members of his family to earn a college diploma.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Pick-up basketball isn’t supposed to be serious.

It was last summer, though, when fifth-year KU guard Conner Teahan saw Taylor going against the norm: He was using the light-hearted scrimmages to teach teammates and try to make them better. 

“He was taking responsibility,” Teahan says, “as this being his team.”

Taylor hadn’t been as much of a communicator in the past, mostly because he didn’t have to be.

Last year’s team had seniors Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and juniors Marcus and Markieff Morris. The two years before that, Sherron Collins served as the team’s emotional and vocal leader.

Teahan said it was apparent early in the summer that this was a different Taylor. 

The senior was telling his teammates what they needed to do on certain plays, or suggesting a better way to get open in certain situations.

Taylor also wasn’t afraid to go to the other upperclassmen, one time telling Teahan to take a couple of extra dribbles or get rid of the ball faster to keep the offense moving.

Before KU had played any games, Teahan also remembers gathering the team in the locker room after a second straight poor practice.

He looked at Taylor and forward Thomas Robinson, saying, “I don’t care what happens, but we’re not going to be the team that this Big 12 streak ends with.”

Teahan looked in Taylor’s eyes and knew he felt the same way.

“I’m not going out like that,” Taylor said.

At the time, many analysts questioned whether KU was talented enough to continue its streak of seven straight league titles.

“I think Tyshawn took that really personally,” Teahan said, “because I think people questioned his ability to lead a team.”

No one is now.

Before every game, when the team huddles up, it’s either Taylor or Robinson who says the final words.

At halftime, when the Jayhawks need a spark, Taylor’s the one who enters the locker room and tells his teammates what they need to be doing ... before Self even has a chance to speak.

Everything from his demeanor to his message impresses Self.

“He’s a coach,” Self says.

Self has been amazed at how many times that Taylor has chided teammate Elijah Johnson for not being aggressive. And how often he gets into center Jeff Withey, telling him, “You’ve got to score in there, big fella.”

Self says a moment after Monday’s game most epitomizes Taylor’s growth, as during an ESPN interview, Taylor was asked about Oklahoma State senior Keiton Page’s 29-point performance.

Taylor talked about how great Page had been despite the fact that he had just scored 27 points himself, which included 10 straight points during a decisive second-half run.

“He’s come a long ways,” Self says. “His thoughts are unselfish.”

Teahan, for his part, doesn’t think fans realize just how much Taylor cares.

That was especially evident a month ago, when Taylor had two missed free throws and two turnovers in the final 90 seconds of a 74-71 loss at Missouri.

The next day, Teahan noticed his phone had a text; Taylor had sent out a message to apologize to his teammates for his poor play down the stretch. He also told them he’d learn from it and would continue to have their backs.

KU hasn’t lost since, edging Missouri 87-86 in overtime last week at Allen Fieldhouse — Taylor had nine of the teams 12 points in overtime, including the game-winning free throws — before claiming the outright Big 12 title with Monday’s 70-58 victory over Oklahoma State.

“A lot of times people say, ‘Well, this place has been good for Tyshawn.’ That is true,” Self says. “But it’s a marriage. And Tyshawn’s certainly been good for this place.”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tyshawn Taylor retells the story with hardly any emotion, almost as if he’s talking about a reunion with an old acquaintance.

Taylor returned to New Jersey this past Christmas, making plans to meet up with his grandmother at her new home.

When he showed up, he was surprised to see an unexpected face: that of Tyrone, his father.

He noticed immediately that he had become taller than his old man. He gave him a hug, and the two talked for a while ... though words didn’t come easily.

Tyrone did tell Taylor he was proud of him.

“I think as a younger male, I resented him, and I hated him, and I was like, ‘Damn, what if I had a father? I could have been so much better off,’” Taylor says. “Then I think about it now, I probably could have been worse off if he was in my life. Like I said, there’s no resentment.”

Taylor met up with a lot of his family on his dad’s side, including his brothers, two of his sisters and his cousins.

One of his family members took a picture of Taylor with his father.

“I think it was good that I got a chance to see him,” Taylor says, “before I start to take these next stages in my life.”

Tyrone won’t be at Allen Fieldhouse tonight, but those who played the biggest part in Taylor’s life will.

That includes Crawford, who made plans to fly in from Florida. She said she wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Taquana and Tatiana also will be there, escorting Taylor on the court during the Senior Night celebration.

Taylor’s final escort will be Jeanell.

She knows — this time — it’ll be OK to let the man in her life see her cry.

“I think she’s happy,” Taylor says, “just seeing me live my dream.”

Comments

Ludwig Supraphonic 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article. Thanks Tyshawn for the joy of watching you play!

HawksWin 2 years, 8 months ago

+1. Here's another great article on TT from 2009. http://www.ncaatop25.com/taylor.htm

Taylor has amazed me with his speed, talent, and that sheer will power to win (ie taking his team at St James to SC says something). We, the Jayhawk Nation, want nothing but the best for you. God Bless You!!

jhox 2 years, 8 months ago

I agree, Hornhawk. Outstanding article, Jessie. Perhaps the most well written I've ever seen in the LJW.

Tyshawn's had a rough life, but fortunately he's had people around him who have loved him and cared about him. He's shown what you can accomplish if you have family and friends who support you and believe in you.

Best of luck to you in the future, Tyshawn. I hope all of your NBA dreams come true, and I'm confident that they will. You've worked hard, and you've earned everything you have coming. Thanks for a great 4 year run.

lurkerhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Tyshawn for a wonderful four years. You're a competitor and one heck of an athlete. And you're one of my favorite Jayhawks. There are still people who have their doubts but nobody can doubt your heart. You don't have to prove nobody anything anymore. You've done it already. Now go out there and finish this season with a bang!

swkhawk24 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn is by far my most favorite jayhawk of all time. I feel like I've grown up with this kid. Congrats, and good luck my friend.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

I was late to the party on this kid. Still had my doubts about him into the conference season. Not that I ever questioned his heart or desire to play well, but I readily admit that I questioned his ability to lead this team. Happy to have been proven wrong, and happy to have him for this stretch run.

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 8 months ago

I share the same sentiment. Until the time (don't know when) when TT told his mom that he needs to focus, things were up in the air. Now there is NO DOUBT, who the best PG in the college basketball is. I am so proud of him for making the transition! Jesse, this article is a piece of art... thanks for writing it... the emotions came poring out from the words. You continue to do a fantastic job!

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Yep, you were definitely among those leading the charge. No problem admitting it either. Props for seeing it a long time ago.

KULA 2 years, 8 months ago

Never thought I'd get props from you, lol. Thanks :) Enjoy the game today

andrewbary 2 years, 8 months ago

yup. headdesk I was an idiot... should have trusted Coach. Love you Tyshawn, and I'm gonna miss you a ton.

actorman 2 years, 8 months ago

Well said, ict. I've pretty much shared your views the whole time, and I've come around as well. And I can't wait to see where he leads this team.

actorman 2 years, 8 months ago

And oh, by the way, GREAT article, Jesse.

captku 2 years, 8 months ago

I also took my skeptical time. I must now say that TT has developed into a phenom, who can almost get to the rim at will, enhanced by his deadly 3-pt shooting this year. What a high gear he has shifted into in conference play. His story here just provides the backdrop to the stage he has elevated his game to. In a word, Tyshawn is TOUGH. And that is exactly, I mean EXACTLY what HCBS has always wanted in his guard play. Can you tell how much man-love Self has for TT right now? KU fans are now all in with Tyshawn's game, and the skepticism is gone. Tyshawn has earned it, lots of lunch pail time is paying off. So, RCJH, baby! It is on! I believe!

gardenjay 2 years, 8 months ago

Good job Tyshawn.

Also, this was an actual article with clear effort. Good job sports writer. I liked the use of the word 'butterbean' although the metaphor escapes me, unless you mean lima beans. Did you check with Tyshawn to make sure your metaphors are connecting with his diet? Now that I think about it, I know I wouldn't want butterbean eyes not knowing what they are.

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

A very well written article, Jesse. Tyshawn, the Jayhawk Nation has watched you step into a leadership role this season, especially since the beginning of league play. Perhaps that is what you needed all along, the opportunity to be commander of a Jayhawk squad progressing toward another conference title. Thanks for sticking with the task, waiting your turn to bring joy to your family, coaches, teammates and fans...as well as the eighth consecutive league crown and huge notoriety to the university. Congratulations on having earned an upcoming spring degree. Your near and distant family must be overjoyed and proud of your academic and athletic accomplishments, as are all of us who have posted missives regarding your ups and downs these past years. You have silenced all but the most rabid of critics. We hope to watch you complete this hoops season in high style; and we wish you the best of luck and good fortune in your pursuits after graduation. I hope you walk away from Kansas athletics a rich young man so that all of us can join in the excitement, just like fans of Wheel of Fortune. You have been a very special treat for anyone connected to KU athletics; and a huge bomb to disrupt the intentions of competitors.

IBRONNIEB 2 years, 8 months ago

Good Luck in your future! Thank you for pouring your heart, and soul, into leading your team, to yet another Big 12 championship! No guard who I ever remember playing at Kansas can explode to the rim, like you. Much like everyone else, I got frustrated at times with the turnovers, but I never, ever, questioned your heart, or desire! Or your ability! It has been a pleasure to watch you bloom, into a star. And the heart and soul of this team.

jksport 2 years, 8 months ago

Prime example as to why we as fans should not be so fast to judge these guys. It is great to see them grow up from 17-18 year old kids to 22-23 year old men. Rock Chalk!

machinegun 2 years, 8 months ago

Stat Guy muzzled! Angry Football Guy muzzled! Critics of all stripes muzzled! Naysayers muzzled! Thanks Tyshawn for carrying on the good fight with "Kansas" emblazoned upon your chest!!!

jayhawker_97 2 years, 8 months ago

thanks for sharing the story. i don't know why i have tears in my eyes. one thing for sure, i'm going to miss TT!!! aarrgggghhhhh..!!! i can't get enough of watching him play - why does this have to end so soon.
but it's all good, TT. thank you for your leadership, your hard work, your relentless pursuit of championship, your sacrifice, everything you've done for KU, fans. ok, enough, the body is not cold yet. go, fight and prove those doubters (including me in the past) that you're worth more than BobLousy award.

rock c h a l k !!!!!!!!!!!

illuminatironin 2 years, 8 months ago

It's awesome to see him turn into the player we always knew was inside of him. Driving into the lane hitting floaters getting easy and sometimes not so easy lay ups. Many probably wondered where this kid has been all four years. He has always been there just below the surface. Way to flip the switch and turn it on when your team needed you Tyshawn.

yates33333 2 years, 8 months ago

I knew when I saw him play as a Freshman that he had it, but not to the extent he has developed his ability. At this point he is a potential Steve Nash type pro. He may be a bit faster than Nash on the break. He needs to develop the discipline, yes discipline, that Nash has. If you have watched Nash he looks on the verge of being out of control about one-third of the time. He isn't. I never thought Taylor would have the shooting ability he has shown this year. He needs to get a trainer-coach to polish him a bit further this summer. I will be stunned if he doesn't go pretty high in the draft. He also needs to move his family out of Hoboken. I never liked Lawrence, but the area between it and K.C. isn't bad. Self needs to put him next to an honest financial advisor. Taylor's had a hard row to hoe, but it ought to be Roses from now on. Good Luck.

Wouldn't it be great if he (also Robinson and Withey) led this team to another national championship. Then I might believe Self could walk on water.

ancient_hawk 2 years, 8 months ago

TT was always too fast for anybody on the other team to handle. He finally just learned not to be so fast that he couldn't handle himself. He plays within himself so well now. It seems to have gone back to the knee injury.

JeanMarie 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article. Tyshawn, you will be missed. Congratulations on a fantastic career at KU, and especially congratulations on earning your degree. You should be so proud. I hope you achieve all your dreams in this next phase of your life, and when your playing days are finally over (many years from now) I hope you consider coaching. I think you would be an excellent mentor for young people. Rock Chalk!

mattiesdad 2 years, 8 months ago

I was at the OSU game, and TT also went and shook Page's hand when Ford took him out of the game...class move. Then his impressive comments about his foe. He as like the Anti-Tiger Woods, who can never say a good word about his opponent. Nice job, TT. In Dec I was convinced Ty would let us down in March. Now I'm glad every time he has the ball in his hands late....good things tend to happen. Lead us on into March TT!

Post script: But a female coach taking young boys to Hooters? Come on. If we want to break the stereo types, don't perpetuate them.

Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 8 months ago

What's wrong with going to Hooter's? It is an eating establishment open to the public of all ages. By all accounts, it sounds like this women was such a positive influence on TT's life and no doubt many other young men (a lot of them probably not having fathers present either). For all you know the kids begged her to take them there, or that she was honoring a bet to take them there after winning a tournament or something. Let's not judge her by this action but rather by her action of sitting Tyshawn for a whole 6 Weeks after his grades faltered, yet still not letting up only until his grades were improved. And still making him attend practice every day to watch. Now that's not just great coaching but great parenting.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

ZIG,

Copy and Paste. Windows.

Duplicate. Lion.

cklarock 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Stereotypes? What stereotypes? If there is a "female coaches always take their athletes to hooters" stereotype... I'm not aware of it.

Don't post nonsense on this board.

KansasComet 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor is a winner. He was a winner before he came to KU and he will be a winner when he departs KU. Tyshawn Taylor is a winner in the game of life. He has earned his way and he has paid his dues. Life experiences have taught him what is wrong and what is right. He gets it, and I am so very proud of him. I love his desire to constantly get better in all phases, not just on the basketball court, but in life. We can all learn a lot from Tyshawn Taylor.

My favorite game from Tyshawn is the Oklahoma game his freshman year. 26 points against Willie Warren on a national stage. That's when I knew this young man would be something special. Thanks for four years Tyshawn, and I wish you nothing but the best!!

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 8 months ago

With freshman play like that you'd think he would have been a starter sooner, yet I think it has all worked out for the best. He has his degree and in the eyes of many will exceed expectations at just the right time in his life. Way to go Tyshawn. Godspeed.

ohjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations, Tyshawn! You've been part of some great teams during your years at KU and have been a huge part of that. Whatever may happen yet this season, you can leave KU with your head held high knowing that. Thank you for the great article, Jesse!

Mike Barnhart 2 years, 8 months ago

The man has sure turned the corner and come up aces when we needed him the most. That's maturity!

blowhard 2 years, 8 months ago

T: Your drive and determination to graduate and excel on the court has been a joy to witness, You have achieved so very, very much here and you are destined for massive success at whatever endeavours you pursue. Your sincere efforts , heart and ability to succeed have been a joy to watch and the Jayhawk Nation wishes you and your loved ones "All the Best All the Time"!!!!!!!!!

AsadZ 2 years, 8 months ago

Very nice article. We as fans, myself included, often critisize players, but we have to come to realization that these players are kids/young players who had to deal with lot of advertisity.

TT, I knew you had the ability but earlier in the year I was not sure if you could lead this team. You have proved me wrong.

You are a winner and I will miss your play and big smile.

All the best in future and hope you have a great/promising NBA career.

Rock Chalk Tyshawn

dynamitehawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Nice read. Well done Jesse. Hopefully Tyshawn gets to play for some money for a long, long time. I'm going to miss him, point plankin'

I can see where if you remove the giant white boxer from the eyes that Tyshawn really does have butterbean eyes. Good catch.

http://www.boxingkodvds.com/career-butterbean.html

ccarp 2 years, 8 months ago

Keep growing, Tyshawn! Proud of you, rockchalk and F.O.E.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Never giver up.

Remember how looooooooong he was in the toughening box?

Most of a season. Holds the record for time in toughening box.

Remember how he used to fall away from contact?

Now he is fearless.

He came with limited focus.

Now he is like an industrial laser.

Remember how he got benched.

Now he plays 37-40 mpg.

He came a lightening fast player.

Now he is a great player.

Damn right he is still here.

Going for a ring!

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

How many KU PGs have played through a torn meniscus and averaged 18 ppg and 36 mpg?

He has been Superman without a cape.

Paul Meyer 2 years, 8 months ago

Excellent, insightful article. Tyshawn represents the best of a college basketball career. Thanks for letting us watch you grow from a scrappy point guard to a team leader Tyshawn.

It was fun to share your high school documentary "The Street Stops Here" this past week. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Aligned 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, in the end Self is once again proven to be right, and the anonymous know-it-alls are proven wrong.

Thanks Tyshawn. I’ve enjoyed watching you play at KU.

RockCaCO3 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article, great young man! Congrats Tyshawn, enjoy your last game in AFH tonight. Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk.

Justin Daniel 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor = Kansas Jayhawk basketball!!!!!!!

What a story, 4 straight conference titles!!!!

I can only hope one day my daughter has the toughness and perseverance this guy has. Thanks for everything, you have become the role model everyone knew you could be.

Steve Yeakel 2 years, 8 months ago

Great touching story, way to go Tyshawn. I am so sorry for all my hostile thoughts and comments towards you as you struggled to improve. You are now one of my favorite KU guards of all time (I started watching when Wilt was playing), and I hope that you and T-Rob and the guys can go out in a blaze of glory from here to the end. Stupendous written article Jesse, way to go, the very best articles are the ones that touch our hearts. Go Jayhawks!

rockchalkxii 2 years, 8 months ago

I love TT. Most scrutinized player I've ever seen at Kansas, and he's handled it so well. Can't wait to see him lead this team to New Orleans.

Chris Bruning 2 years, 8 months ago

Damn im gonna miss you Ty, but will enjoy watchin you in the NBA!! Rock Chalk 4 Life!!!!

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 8 months ago

TT, once you are done with your NBA career... I won't mind having you to succeed as the Coach of KU (After Coach Self beats all the records!)

DDDHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Jesse- Superb article, as usual! Tyshawn- We are so proud of your development on and off the court while you have been at KU. Thanks for all of your hard work, and good luck in the post-season!

Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 8 months ago

Way to go Tyshawn, may all your hard work lead to a wonderful life.

JhawkalumJB 2 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for your leadership this year TT. You have truly carried us at times. I felt bad for you when people were so critical earlier in the year. You have risen above it all. This years team would not be BIG12 champs (again) without you.

You will leave a winning legacy behind when you leave.

Congrats for earning your diploma as well, that's a great accomplishment!

Best of luck to you in your post KU aspirations.

I hope to enjoy watching you in a deep tourney run this year.

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

P.S.: There is another angle. The team is 25-5. This means they are within striking distance of exceeding Sherron and Cole's rebuilding team in terms of the W&L Statement. To wind up with a better W&L statement than that team is the next feasible goal for this bunch to aim at. Self may feel some obligation to this bunch, because they have worked so hard and come so far. He might decide that this team has to keep leaving it all on the floor, because it deserves the chance to try to beat that team's W&L and so claim bragging rights. But if Self thinks this team could fight its way to the Final Four and get a shot at upsetting either UK, or Syracuse, if he believes this scenario is within their grasp, then I think he's got to start thinking now about resting these guys up and healing injuries to whatever extent possible for a Madness run...this game and the conference tourney be damned. Now, I really haven't a clue how he will play this. :-)

Go, Bill, go!

jaybate 2 years, 8 months ago

Sorry about that, meant this for the other thread.

Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 8 months ago

Something tells me that HCBS wants all of his teams to leave it on the floor every night.

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

When the best of all Bill Self biographies is finally set to print, Tyshawn Taylor will spring forth as the subject of one of its finest chapters.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article, although I want to take exception with one line.

"he spent most of his childhood serving as the man of his household — might have been the best thing for him, because just look where he is now."

I don't think growing up without a father is ever the best thing for anyone. Maybe it helped steel his determination and we're seeing the results now. If a father was there, are you saying TT wouldn't be the player we're seeing now? If that's the case I suppose I'd rather we never heard of Tyshawn Taylor.

As an inner city school teacher I'm also inspired by stories of TT and see what he's overcome to arrive at the point he's at now. Way way too often, the lack of father cripples the child for a life time.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

+1 .. your first hand insight on this issue is great testimony to the real issue that cripples young blacks, drives them to crime, and gangs, and holds them back for the rest of their lives. I truly believe that this one single issue .. lack of fathers involved in a child's life/taking responsibility with time and involvement .. is the key to turning around the inner city story. That is what has to occur for things to change.

bad_dog 2 years, 8 months ago

While I appreciate your comments (having grown up in a similar context), keep in mind this is a specific example being discussed here, not a generality. Having been raised by different families as well as a single parent made me tougher; both physically and emotionally.

Congrats Tyshawn on becoming your best and overcoming what otherwise might have significantly hindered you.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 8 months ago

Very true bad_dog, glad it worked out for you.

jaypul 2 years, 8 months ago

It's been a true joy to watch him turn into the player he's become. One tough kid.

Ron Franklin 2 years, 8 months ago

This is probably the best article I've ever read on this site.

Great Job, Jesse.

I can't believe we are already talking about senior night. Seemingly, we just bid Tyrel, Brady, Mario, & the Twins farewell. So sad. Life goes by so fast. Dreams can run away from us so quickly. So very proud Tyshawn was able to capture his dream.

Not only has Ty improved, but he is making those around him better.

Way to go.

Rock Chalk, beat UT

Kevin Crook 2 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations TT on a fantastic career at KU! You really have grown up these four years.You have played as well as any KU guard has ever played during the conference season this year. I was so happy you got those FT shots at redemption to beat Mizz in OT last week!

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

How things change.

Tyshawn Taylor: Selfish, out of control, poor shooter, chemistry killer, immature, etc. These are descriptions many used here, including me. And at the time, I think, they were appropriate.

I was one of the guys biggest critics.

There have been some longstanding TT backers. KULA is the most loyal. I remember (fondly) a long back and forth debate on Taylor his sophomore season. KULA said -- "Tyshawn brings the offense like no other player." I laughed. Mocked KULA. Then agreed, saying something the to effect .. "Yea, missed layup, jumper that doesn't draw iron, pass out of bounds, shot blocked -- brings the offense like no one else." At the time (humbly), I thought I won that debate. I did. But thankfully, I'm the loser now.

Thing was, KULA saw something. Coach Self saw something. What both saw was a guy that had immense ability .. the speed, quickness, driving ability .. that no other player had. To a fault, both stayed loyal to Taylor. KULA with some silly posts. Coach Self to the detriment of his team, at times.

I can imagine Coach Self tearing out his hair (figuratively, of course) thinking .. if only this guy would think. But Coach Self stuck with him.

I posted many times that Taylor was sure-fire NBA point guard if he would simply adopt a pass first mentality. I believed that. I saw it too. A guy that had so much to offer, but was running on only 40% efficiency.

Difference was, I never thought he'd get it.

What we've seen from Taylor is nothing short of amazing. Something unexpected that we cannot dismiss. One player for basically 3 1/2 season, and another for a half a season.

The kid had an epiphany. It came around the start of conference season.

He was a new player. Committed to playing in control. As many have said here, TT's problem was between the ears. Now, TT's asset is between the ears. He gets it.

I would have never believed it. What some of us had hoped is that this "epiphany" would have occurred perhaps by late in is sophomore season, or at least early last season. It didn't. But we saw flashes early last season. I have reflected on that amazing stretch early last season as evidence that the kid could do it. Then, on the exact day Selby took the floor vs. USC, it ended.

Why? I firmly believe it ended that day because Taylor was selfish (Emphasis on "was"). He longed to the "the man". He wanted to be the star. He would force the action, he would do whatever he could to make something happen. More drives to the bucket and wild shots, with an open man 8 feet away than you or I could count. Though I tried. Perhaps selfish is too strong of a word. A better spin is wanted so badly to make his team successful he tried to do too much. Either way, he was not focused on playing team basketball much of the time on the offensive end and that was not a positive for this team.

(cont)

KULA 2 years, 8 months ago

Nice post! (and thanks for the mention) It was an enjoyable debate--the only exception I'd take is that I'd thought that­ 'I' won the debate, lol.

And "silly posts?" Harumph!!! Well, silliness in defense of a deserving kid is no vice, I guess. Better silly than outright belligerent like some (not you) of the detractors have been.

Anyway, thanks for another insightful post. Nice to see almost universal appreciation of Tyshawn here now on the brink (too soon) of his final game at Allen. I guess the only thing left to say is,

Seeeeeeee?

Jack Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

But he had an epiphany. Why at that time? I don't know. But it was clear and obvious. I recall an article referencing Taylor talking with his mom about his play -- a come to Jesus discussion. Maybe that was the time. One thing is for certain, I believe, and that is it all boiled down to Taylor making a decision. It wasn't physical. It was mental. He had to decide, and he figured it out.

It's amazing. There were times watching this team that I didn't even want to see Taylor. It was so obvious that his play was holding this team back from being even better. Those that said, "Well, we're winning" -- were missing the point. Now they see. Now I see.

What provides so much enjoyment here is seeing a guy progress, seeing him mature, seeing him work hard to get better. And then seeing the diligent efforts of a coach pay off. It's what four years does for a kid. Imagine if, for example, an NBA team told TT they'd draft him early 2nd after last season and he turned pro then. He surely would have flamed out. This final year of college has made him ready for an NBA "career" .. not to play for portions of a few seasons .. but for a "career." I sure hope so.

And one thing we can't overlook here is the vast skill improvement ... his shooting. That does not come overnight. In my years watching KU basketball, I have never seen such a one year, dramatic improvement in shooting (thought TROB has made great strides too). That is work. Aaron Miles' transforming into a 50% three point shooter his senior season was my only other comparison. But Taylor's total shooting improvement is better, I think.

Taylor is the kind of player that lives on the edge. Imagine if he didn't get the foul call on that late drive vs. MU in overtime? Or if the free throws didn't go in?

But how nice is it now where the out of control play is the exception, not the rule?

He has been a lightning rod. Much of it deserved. But it is clear that the young man has gotten better, gotten stronger, matured, and is becoming the type of player that coach Self (and KULA) knew he could be.

We all know .. yes we do .. that Taylor could cost us a sweet 16 game with 6 turnovers. Or and end of game meltdown. He could. But now that seems like a remote possibility. It is amazing what two months can do. But that's all it took. And to see him step up and hit those free throws literally just weeks/days after failing vs. MU, and KSU in similar situations. That is mental toughness showing through. Plain and simple.

I sincerely hope TT can lead us on a deep run this March. But for this kid, that's gravy. He's delivered. He's transformed. My guess is that transformation will help in all phases of his life. But let's all hope he gets drafted in the first round, and has a long, productive NBA career. A much deserving one.

And let's not let this season end too soon. Would love to see TT's last game on April 2, 2012. Regardless, I think we are all proud of the guy.

bennybob 2 years, 8 months ago

Great post,

It takes a real man to admit when he's wrong. I was in the TT critics camp with you as well and I too, am happy we were proven wrong.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

HEM---

With long posts, I usually just scroll down. Your post though, I started reading it and couldn't stop. Nice contribution! Rock Chalk!

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

I was right there with you man. This post is right on the money.

The thing that amazes me the most is that he has made this transition without adopting that pass-first mentality that we both felt he had to get in order to elevate his game. In this respect I think a lot of credit has to be given to Coach Self. He took away just enough of Tyshawn's ball handling/offense initiating responsibilities and handed them to EJ. Had he taken away too much of those responsibilities, or simply moved Tyshawn to the 2 as I had suggested, he would have risked messing with Tyshawn's confidence, and thus his play in general. Really, it's been a masterful job by Self handling this situation.

And your point about his improved shooting is spot on. And this is the biggest credit to Tyshawn, because we absolutely had to have it from him this year with BMac being ineligible, Tyrel & Brady gone, and EJ, Travis, & Connor being sporadic with their trey gun success.

Even if he does have another "bad Tyshawn/enigma"-like performance, it won't take away from the transformation he made this last half of the season. And like you say, that seems like an improbability at this point. Here's to hoping he can lead us to a deep tourney run.

Rock Chalk!

waywardJay 2 years, 8 months ago

Welcome to the Bandwagon, Here's your Kool-aid cup, and don't forget to sign in.

Truthhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Awesome post HEM. Love your stuff. Well, most of the time!

I think even the most ardent Taylor supporters were shaken early this season with those high turnover games. I admit that I jumped ship on him. But I have climbed back in.

Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking. We are final 4 team.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 8 months ago

Good comments as I've been on the same side as you. His "epiphany" this year has led me to wonder what if we had started to see this a couple of years ago? UNI, VCU, do these stains on our image not happen if he's playing at this level back then? We'll never know, but he is the reason why this season has exceeded expectations of KU fans.

KULA 2 years, 8 months ago

Bit of a lefthanded compliment there? How about, "Are we a team that gets to the UNI & VCU without Tyshawn in the lineup?" We'll never know. You seem to forget that Tyshawn was one of the few who showed up for the VCU game, with 14 on 6/9 shooting. Too bad he wasn't as good then as he is now... Of course, if Derrick Rose was as good in 08 as he is now, they might've won that game. Gosh, why can't players have been as good a couple years ago as they are now?

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

KULA beat me to it, in regards to his performance against VCU.

As to your wonderings: had he been playing at this level as a sophomore, he would likely have jumped to the NBA early. So maybe he's not around last year, and there's no way to know how last year plays out. Maybe the team doesn't win it's 7th Big XII title, maybe they have a worse seed in the tournament, maybe they bow out even earlier. Or he might have waited one more year to leave for the NBA. In which case, we're definitely sunk this year, TRob receives even more attention with no one else on the team near the threat Tyshawn is, so in turn his stats suffer and he's not in the conversation for POY, maybe we're NIT bound, etc.

Point is you can play the "what if?" game until you're blue in the face. You are right though, he is the biggest reason this season has exceeded expectations.

KULA 2 years, 8 months ago

I've found that one must maintain constant vigilance in defense of Tyshawn on this board, lol. Good point, btw--if he was this good a couple years ago he'd be long gone by now. Imagine what a rebuilding year this would've been with only EJ and Naadir at point.

Kent Kossoy 2 years, 8 months ago

It has been said that character is defined by how one responds to adversity. This is true character. Godspeed!!

1PhogFan 2 years, 8 months ago

To Jesse Newell -- Great job using your talents! Thanks.

To Tyshawn Taylor - Great job developing your talents on the anvil of life & hardwork. Thanks.

To Coach Self (and your unsung staff including Scooter & the academic support staff) -- Thanks for seeing the potential in young men and women like TT, telling them the truth about the opportunity they will have at Kansas, and then bringing out that potential through every teachable moment that college life and sports provides. Thanks.

Reals Success is measured in what you do with the talents God gives you. Well done.

bradh 2 years, 8 months ago

It is so fun to see these kids grow up over their time at KU. You wonder what Self was thinking when he recruited them as you read articles about attacks with airsoft guns, tweets, etc. Then in a year, or two, or three, they turn out to be kids you are proud to say are Jayhawks. Kudos to Bill for helping them mature and the young men for the will to make it happen.

Congrats especially to our three seniors who have given so much over the years they've been here and are all graduating. Nicely done.

Clarence Haynes 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshan gets his sheepskin in May. That's great! Congrats young man!

John Randall 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn understands one thing many people never learn:

Where you're from means less than what you've done to get where you are.

JHAWKNPHX 2 years, 8 months ago

TT- I have to say great season this year!!!! I have to be honest and say I was worried how you would lead the team this year. My wife has supported you through thick and thin for four years, and said you were going to have a great year. You have been the glue for the team and even more, I am proud of the man you have become for your family. Enjoy today, enjoy graduation and enjoy the life your hard work is going to provide!!! RCJHK!!!

Brad Swisher 2 years, 8 months ago

Congrats and thanks for four great years TT, you're a class act.

Mike Johns 2 years, 8 months ago

brings tears to my eyes...

i was just thinking back this week to how far this young man has come.

Many props to HCBS for being the man in his life that he needed.

Rock Chalk

ParisHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Great season from Tyshawn.

Great article from my favorite, Jesse Newell.

Great photo from Nick Krug.

Great posts after the article.

Merci!

Elias Dunlavy 2 years, 8 months ago

Not too many kids get to be 4 year starters at KU. Tyshawn has been a good player who has endured many ups in downs in his time at lawrence. After looking at Tyshawns career numbers theres no doubt in my mind his jersey will soon be hanging in the rafters of historic Allen Fieldhouse. Keep up the good work and im sure your dreams will be realized

chicagoeddie 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article! Damn Tyshawn we are going to miss you but i am excited to see you play in the NBA and light it up! Good luck tonight and bring up the heat for the Big 12 tourney and NCAA tourney!! Rock Chalk!

Steve Brown 2 years, 8 months ago

Taylor gave four league titles, thank you. I am old school, winning the conference is tough stuff and much appreciated, no matter how we are starting to take it for grated,it is the high bar.

The post season stuff, tournaments and dances are gravy.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Jesse Newell------

       Wow!   You have written another fine piece.      The Morris twins, Tyrel Reed and now Tyshawn.     I know I am selfish when I say this, but I would love for you to stay at KUsports.com for a long time.     I have a feeling that because of your superior writing skills, you might get some really sweet offers to go elsewhere.     Boy, I hope not.    I love your articles!

Tyshawn Taylor-------

        Just to let you know. . . . . I will have the biggest tissue box next to me as I will be listening to your Senior speech.      I know that sounds weak, but just emotional, man!

Coach Self-----------

       You hung in there with Tyshawn, and for that reason, I am glad you did.   I was on the verge of jumping on the bandwagon of others thinking that TT needed to be benched.     I have only missed one post-game interview (KU @ Baylor) this year and I kept hearing you talk positive about TT.     You are the Coach of the Year and you have one of the best PG in the Country.     Good luck with trying to get to the "Big Easy!"

Thanks again, Tyshawn, for all that you have done at KU. I will definitely miss you and your leadership. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

KEITHMILES05 2 years, 8 months ago

Exactly! I get disgusted reading and hearing of these situations of ADULTS who only show up to have their hands out. If they had no desire before now then they have no business acting like they "care."

TT is too smart to allow such smooth moves deter his life. Kudos to him!

fansincewilt 2 years, 8 months ago

Goodness, what a great article! A great story about a great kid become a man. Pass the Kleenexes please.

Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 8 months ago

This fan's guard favs:

Tyshawn Taylor

Sherron Collins

Kirk Hinrich

Mario Chalmers

Ryan Robertson

Jeff Boshee

Aaron Miles

  • "modern day" guards

wisjayhawkfan 2 years, 8 months ago

i loved watching taylor, but i think collins was my favorite

wisjayhawkfan 2 years, 8 months ago

chalmers would have been if he stayed for a 4th year.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

As much as I like all the KU guards, Boschee will likely always be my favorite

13 just loved to shoot it

ku_foaf 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn has been the most fan picked on player since Chenowith. I am glad to see he has won over many of his critics. Congratulations to him on a great career and an especially great year.

waywardJay 2 years, 8 months ago

The big difference, Is Tyshawn actually wanted to play Basketball.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope all of you remember your praise for this young man, if down the line he has a 10 turnover game and the loss ousts us from the NCAAs.

He has earned our respect no matter what happens from here on out and if anyone comes back with "that same old Tyshawn" crap, I will jump on them with both feet.

I was one of his harshest critics, but now I will be one of his staunchest defenders.

TT, rhanks for all you've done but, even more importantly, thanks for how you did it......there's a life lesson there for all of us!!

Steve Brown 2 years, 8 months ago

Oak: see previous post of mine above, I promise to remember...

Scott Smetana 2 years, 8 months ago

On a side note... this site says the game tonight is on ESPN. Nope, that would be Duke/UNC. Us outside of Kansas are out of luck. Bummer.

Rarely am I 'relaxed' about a game, but tonight we have nothing to lose. Also, our 'seniors' ... TRob and Taylor, will take care of business.

2 years, 8 months ago

Pikes ~ our game comes on ESPN after the UNC vs. Duke game.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey, PikesPeak---

It is on ESPN and we follow North Carolina/Duke. Pretty good DH, and we saved the best for last!!!!!!!!!!

jklein38 2 years, 8 months ago

I believe Duke/UNC is on before KU/Texas

r0ckchalkgirl 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for 4 great years Tyshawn. I wish you all the best in this next stage of your life!!!

Great great article Jesse!

KUlolly 2 years, 8 months ago

The game is definitely on ESPN tonight at 9ET/8Central following the Duke/UNC game. Unfortunately when this happens, we always have to miss the beginning of our game because they won't cut away from the prior game if it isn't over unless it is a blowout. I can't stand either team so hoping it is a blowout is purely for the sake of me not wanting to miss one second of Senior Night at the Phog!

MGJayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I've been saying it for 2 years. Tyshawn is our most important player. It's nicer to know that he has gotten through hardships and succeeded.

sustainabilitysister 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Tyshawn! Your Jayhawk family will always love you and support you wherever your dreams may take you.

FLJHK 2 years, 8 months ago

This is as fine a feel good article and feel good postings I've ever seen on this site. And it's all totally justified.

Thank you TT and best of luck in your deservedly bright future.

Jackster 2 years, 8 months ago

What a great article! I had no idea about Tyshawn's background and it makes me appreciate his accomplishments and contributions to KU that much more. Now I will have to explain to my wife why my eyes are all puffy in the middle of the afternoon. She will think that I hit the sauce a little early. Thanks for the great read and all of the comments. I hope the Seniors go out in style tonight!

ClydeTurnbuckle 2 years, 8 months ago

It's amazing how peoples' personal opinions of you change once you start playing well.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Well...this is a site for discussing KU basketball. Logic dictates fans will think he's a good player if he is playing well.

Also, he's gone awhile since his last off-the-court incident (football team fight, facebook/twitter-gate, the alleged sexual escapade in AFH, getting suspended for whatever to start this season, etc).

ClydeTurnbuckle 2 years, 8 months ago

I should have said "peoples' opinions of you as a person".

hawkinatlanta 2 years, 8 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong here but doesn't it seem like TT's big turnaround started around the time that Self really stood up for him? When he said all the criticism was unfair, etc. That was the first I can remember of Self taking Tyshawn's side publicly. I just recall thinking, It's about time that Self asked these people to just back off. Maybe TT felt the same way? Just a thought

Joseph Kuebel 2 years, 8 months ago

Msg to all fans attending tonites game:

Stand and cheer raucously throughout the national anthem as that is what is done whenever tonites guest singer, Jim Cornelison sings the national anthem (At Chicago Blackhawk games the crowd stands and cheers extremely loud from the anthems start to finish). I will expect to see "The House" go crazy for this rendition, as this has become a tradition for Jim, and it also further illustrates why my fellow Jayhawks fans are the most knowledgeable sports fans in the country.

Give him proper, House treatment (the loudest venue in the country)... I don't want to be able to hear "O, say can you see, home of the Cheifs or home of the Brave or anything for that matter except "The House" goin Crazy!!

Best National Anthem performer, without question.

And we don't want to be called some nickname like the antlers, or Cameron crazies... Welcome back to "The House", Texas B. hatches!

Many storylines for this game tonite:

Starting with: A nice intimidating national anthem,

Followed by: a vengeance game as tRobs mom died the night before Texas came last year, and

Ending with: Senior night speeches for post game!

Looking forward to house rocking for all of tonites festivities!

wisjayhawkfan 2 years, 8 months ago

i know this is off the tyshawn subject. but with all these kick ass recruits looking ku's direction. who does everyone think we have a legit chance of getting in 2012, 2013?

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

While I have no delusions about TRob's departure for the NBA, what are the chances we hear the crowd chanting "one more year! one more year!" tonight?

wisjayhawkfan 2 years, 8 months ago

of course they will. it wouldnt be right if they didnt.

Steve Brown 2 years, 8 months ago

He77 we did for Danny senior year ;)!

it is tradition to yell one more year for POY All Americans be they jr. sr. or OADers.

akl6593 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't know if Jesse intended a reference to a song by John Rzeznik called "I'm Still Here" but the lyrics would be pretty appropriate for this story:

I am a question to the world, Not an answer to be heard. Or a moment that's held in your arms. And what do you think you'd ever say? I won't listen anyway… You don't know me, And I’ll never be what you want me to be.

And what do you think you'd understand? I'm a boy, no, I'm a man.. You can take me and throw me away. And how can you learn what's never shown? Yeah, you stand here on your own. They don't know me 'cause I'm not here.

And I want a moment to be real, Wanna touch things I don't feel, Wanna hold on and feel I belong. And how can the world want me to change, They’re the ones that stay the same. The don’t know me, 'Cause I’m not here.

And you see the things they never see All you wanted, I could be Now you know me, and I'm not afraid And I wanna tell you who I am Can you help me be a man? They can't break me As long as I know who I am

And I want a moment to be real, Wanna touch things I don't feel, Wanna hold on and feel I belong. And how can the world want me to change, They’re the ones that stay the same. They can’t see me, But I’m still here.

They can’t tell me who to be, ‘Cause I’m not what they see. And the world is still sleepin’, While I keep on dreamin’ for me. And their words are just whispers And lies that I’ll never believe.

And I want a moment to be real, Wanna touch things I don't feel, Wanna hold on and feel I belong. And how can they say I never change They’re the ones that stay the same. I’m the one now, ‘Cause I’m still here.

I’m the one, ‘Cause I’m still here. I’m still here. I’m still here. I’m still here.

From the movie Treasure Planet...sorry for the long post but Ty's story and reading the article made me think of this song...great song...so/so movie.

I hope Ty finds success in whatever he does...he has a lot of heart and that is very important!

Jackster 2 years, 8 months ago

Less than 3 hours away to tip off. I can't wait. If Duke / UNC runs late, I will go crazy. (That happened before the KU / Mizzou game and I did not see the first 6 minutes of the game on the basketball clock; 20 minutes or so in real time)....but that was CBS.

Kye Clark 2 years, 8 months ago

Big win by former Jayhawk asst. coach Tim Jankovich today against Wichita State.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, disappointing for Wichita State but happy for Jank. If ISU wins, can you believe it? Three teams from the Missouri Valley will be in the Big Dance!

Steve Brown 2 years, 8 months ago

Taylor without you we wouldn't have the last 4 conference crowns, without you we wouldn't have a massive AFH home record, without you the Octogon would have spelt doom and Baylor would have more wins. Without you Mizzwho would be taking the B12 trophy to Dixieland.

Tyshawn you came to us a Hoboken boy with talent and you depart a man. You won the lottery with Coach Hurley and Coach Self and we won the lottery having you here.

It is a crazy world out there, so you be careful out there among 'dem english.... we will miss you. Go kick some butt and win a few more games, enjoy the ride.

Steve Brown 2 years, 8 months ago

Help I forget do we root for Dookies or Heels tonight. I don't want UNC with any more wins, and I don't want Duke to get #1 in Atlanta moving KY to St.Louis. Conflicted, someone help me...

theend 2 years, 8 months ago

A week ago......I warned you that MU would be a very tough win. It was.

I will not issue a"warning" for Texas......but I will issue a "caution". Think of it as a flashing yellow light(as opposed to a flashing red).

Could be a tough game........but KU will win.

theend 2 years, 8 months ago

A week ago......I warned you that MU would be a very tough win. It was.

I will not issue a"warning" for Texas......but I will issue a "caution". Think of it as a flashing yellow light(as opposed to a flashing red).

Could be a tough game........but KU will win.

theend 2 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate-get on the "in-game" discussion board and stay there. Post early and often. We will need you!!!!!

Brian Powell 2 years, 8 months ago

hey Props to TT... great turnaround on this season. We'd not have a lot of those wins without you.

also if you haven't noticed, Nick made a really really good photo to head this article! Very nice :)

REHawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Tyshawn, here is my final thought regarding your March and April play. If Bill Self sees or feels that you are tiring or losing focus, please listen carefully and take his advice immediately. This squad deserves and needs your full energy and concentration in order to advance to the ultimate goal. If Coach wants to relieve you from the man you are guarding, take the ball out of your hands for a spell or fetch you to the bench for a few minutes, look upon any or all of those moves as masterful commandeering from a master commander. You, your mentors and teammates are on a marvelous role this "rebuilding" season. Though your input is monumental to the flow and success of this squad, please don't attempt to do too much, carrying the responsibility and load completely on your shoulders. Win or lose, in the eyes of devoted fans you have become the man. You have, indeed, walked the walk, establishing yourself as one of the best guards ever to play basketball for this storied program. Go get 'em!

Kevin Whelan 2 years, 8 months ago

Great finish Tyshawn! What a season you've given us. Thanks for all your work and congratulations on your degree! I wish you all the success in the world. A lucky NBA team is going to get you. The Lord bless you and your family in every way! Rock Chalk!

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes I wish I didn't care so much about the players, then you read a story like this and a guy like TT comes out during his speech telling the fans how he appreciates them like family and it makes you want to care that much more about their success in life.

Ed Brown 2 years, 8 months ago

Great read. It's just one of those life reminders that before you want to hate on somebody maybe knowing more about them would change your perspective. I believe I lived a hard, rough life growing up but when I read stories like this, I had a cake walk. Thank you Tyshawn for sticking with it even when it seemed the whole world was down on you, especially after football team fight number 2! :)

Thank you HCBS for taking these kids who need what you have to offer and allowing us to get to travel the journey, too, as you mold and shape them into fine, young men, ready to take on the world.

Proud to be a Jayhawk...always! RCJHGKU!

HawkKlaw 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article.

Tyshawn doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves. He's the general of this team. The leader. No way KU is 25-5 without him. He's not a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (seriously?!), but he undoubtedly should be. No PG in the NCAA means more to his team that TT does. TRob and Withey are very important parts of this team, but Tyshawn is the spark that ignites KU almost every game. TT is one of those rare that plays the best when the game is on the line. He's clutch. He continues to prove people wrong and I can't wait to see him come up huge in the Big 12 and NCAA tourneys. Keep it up Tyshawn...and rock chalk!

Eric Sorrentino 2 years, 8 months ago

Really nice read, Jesse. Great stuff here!

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